Barefoot Shoes

Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot

I got good news from Andrew Rademacher, founder of upstart minimalist/barefoot shoe manufacturer Lems Shoes* (“Light. Easy. Minimal.”) — the first batch of the much-anticipated Lems Shoes Boulder Boot are now available for order! I say “first batch” be…

I got good news from Andrew Rademacher, founder of upstart minimalist/barefoot shoe manufacturer Lems Shoes* (“Light. Easy. Minimal.”) — the first batch of the much-anticipated Lems Shoes Boulder Boot are now available for order! I say “first batch” because it’s only the first few hundred pairs of production (more to come, of course, within a few weeks).

The release of the Boulder boot marks the first of a new line of Lems hitting the market in 2013! What’s so exciting about the Boulder? Aside from it being a “barefoot shoe boot” that is super lightweight, zero drop, minimally and flexibly soled, and a boot, well, what else is there to say? If you’ve had a pair of Andrew’s barefoot shoes, you’re expectations are likely through the roof for these boots. We’ve reviewed the first offering from Lems that hit back in 2011 — the Primal (see reviews here and here) and had nothing but good things to say.

Andrew has a pair of Boulders coming my way, so I hope to share more about it soon, but if you’re eager to snatch up a pair without further adieu and want to know the scoop, read on!

UPDATE: I got the boots! If you want to jump straight to my full review of the Lems Boulder boot, go here!

The official Boulder Boot specs from Lems!

Lems Boulder Boot


Weighing a mere 9.9oz (Mens size 43), the Boulder Boot is arguably the lightest boot in the world. The upper is made of water-resistant nylon and full-grain leather to keep away moisture. The whole boot is completely collapsible, great for stuffing into a pack during a hike and wearing around the campfire afterwords. There’s absolutely nothing to this boot, no heel counter, no toe counter, no shank, and nothing stiff that would irritate the foot. If a barely-there boot is what you’re in need of, look no further.

Price$115 and ships free worldwide for now (details below)!


Upper – Water-resistant nylon + full-grain leather (Not Vegan at this time — see FAQ below!)
Sole – 9.0mm LemsRubber™ injection rubber
Insole – Optional removable 3.0mm MoistureWick foam
Lining – 100% Cotton
Drop – 0.0mm / “Zero Drop”
Width and Weight (size 43) – 4.2-4.4″ and 9.9oz
Waterproof – No (See FAQ below!)
Sizes for Men and Women – 37-47


All Lems Shoes have a unique foot-shaped fit, this is because of our LemsLast™, which we’ve taken time to design to have the widest toebox on the market. It’s designed to allow all 5 toes to splay apart inside the shoe, and at the same time it follows the natural curved shape of the heel and midfoot. The sizing of the Boulder Boot is a little different than our original shoe the Primal. The Boulder Boot is sized on EU increments. This means 6.6mm increments in length between each size. Whereas the Primal is on US increments, 8.4mm in length between sizes. To make things easy, follow our sizing when you order your size. For example a EU 43 is a US mens 9.5-10, while a EU 44 is a US mens 10.5.

Worldwide Shipping

We ship worldwide. Many or our orders go outside the USA to Canada, Australia, and other countries. We are offering free worldwide shipping until Sunday Feb. 24th at midnight EST for 1-3 pairs. Use the coupon code: FREEWORLDWIDE

Want the Lems Shoes Boulder Boot?

Go to to order the Lems Boulder. It’s $115 with aforementioned free shipping. If you want to see a few more photos, you’ll find them here. Worried about returns? Don’t. See the FAQ below (and the note from Andrew!) and rest assured.

A Note about Lems from Andrew

Lems Shoes is still small company. We’re an operation of just two people, just Steve and I. Steve handles customer service and social media, and I do the design and travel to the factories. We are based out of Sharon, PA, an hour north of Pittsburgh. Our warehouse is in Charlotte, NC. It’s run by a gentleman named Steve as well. When you call our 1-800 number it goes to Steve’s cell (Lems Shoes Steve), so feel free to call if you have any questions. Or email your question to [email protected]. We believe in doing things right, so if you have any trouble at all, we will take care of you.


Q: Is it waterproof?
A: No it’s not waterproof. We chose to leave out a waterproof membrane because they sacrifice breathability. The upper is treated with a DWR water-resistant coating. When this begins to wear off, we suggest treating the nylon and leather with a spray on Scotchguard, Nikwax, or something similar.
Q: Is it vegan like the original shoe?
A: No, because the Brown colorway uses full-grain leather. We are coming out with a Black colorway in October made of all vegan materials.
Q: Returns?
A: We accept returns for 60 days. For exchanges we will actually ship out the replacement free of charge. See our “Easy Returns” page for more info.

* The upstart company formerly known as Leming Footwear formerly known as Stem Footwear!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

17 replies on “Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot”

I am eagerly anticipating these. I love my STEMs, but the mesh makes them difficult to wear in the winter. Hopefully these will work as a winter weather footwear choice for me.

The boots look awesome, any idea if Lems is planning an all leather version? I’ve been dying for something to wear all winter here in Chicago

I love my original Stem shoes and have been looking forward to this new boot offering. While I do most of my hiking and backpacking in Vibram Treks sometimes they are just not enough when the weather gets colder. I will wait for some initial reviews before I consider making the plunge on these but, I have an initial concern. The cotton lining. Cotton does not dry quickly once it gets wet. While these boots are water resistant there is still sweat as well as the potential for rain to get in or water from a creek crossing to splash in. Once cotton is wet it is not a good insulator and takes a long time to dry. The Lems shoes claim a moisture wicking polyester liner. I would think that any hiking boot should have a similar wicking/quick drying liner. Not 100% cotton.

Looks great! Hopefully the fit is good with those laces so the big toe box can do its thing.

Suggestion: wool blend lining on the inside 😉
Wool + Leather is breathable and wicking so it doesn’t need to be waterproof. Wool socks for sure.

How does the boot height compare to the
Vibram Bormio? I’ve been looking for something a little taller and w/o separate toes for when the weather is below freezing. Snow between your toes becomes chilly quickly!

Man, I wish Stem would remember that some people have big feet. I would love to have one of them, but not a single model in size 14.

I have to agree with those who think a wool or wool/blend liner would be nicer than cotton. I also would like to see a waterproof membrane option. When I’m tromping around in the snow in subzero weather, I really don’t even want breathability, so I would absolutely but a totally waterproof version of these. That said, I’m SO glad someone is making a nice minimal boot for us barefoot advocates in colder climates.

I bought a pair of these shoes and I am profoundly disappointed. The pull tab on the heal broke within the first week. By the second week the heal cup had broken down and was letting my whole foot slide forward in the shoe. Now that my toes hit the end of the boots I find them useless. I wrote to Lems and told them my story. They didn’t offer any help at all. I’m ended up having to buy another pair of Vivo Barefoot Offroad boots.


Sounds like a terrible experience, indeed — I had a heel tab break on a pair of Otz Troops and was aghast. And surpisingly, the OTZ Troops use a higher quality leather (to my eye) than the Boulders but I’ve not had any issues with my Boulder heel tabs.

The heel cup breakdown issue sounds interesting — not fully understanding what’s going on there (maybe you could elaborate).

Hope you like the Vivo Offroads — they’re a nice boot on the trail though maybe a bit much for everyday wear (the hard lugs annoy me on flat/hard surfaces).

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